Apr 13

Astronaut to keynote May conference and STEMx sessions posted

Our annual gathering, STEMxChange, is coming up in just a few weeks. Today, we’re announcing a new keynote. We’ll also detail the sessions that will make up the STEMx track.

Our second keynote will be…Astronaut Joe Acaba! Joining Grant Imahara , he’ll address both STEMxChange and the Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit. Just over a month ago, Acaba was completing a fiery descent through the atmosphere down to Earth. This descent marked the end of Acaba’s third mission for NASA. Most recently, he spent 168 days working in the International Space Station. Acaba joined astronaut Mark T. Vande Hei in a year-long NASA push to engage classrooms with the space station . Acaba brings a special perspective. Before joining NASA, he served five years as a teacher in Florida.

We’re also deeply proud to announce eight different sessions from STEMx member states. From Idaho to South Carolina, STEM schools to manufacturing, you’re sure to find something to help you make the most out of your dedication to effective STEM education. Read about all of the STEMx sessions below. Attendees will also have complete access to another 32 sessions organized by the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network .

Register now while spots remain! Details:

Joseph M. Acaba NASA Astronaut

Acaba was selected by NASA in 2004. The California native has logged a total of 306 days in space during three missions. Most recently, Acaba served as Flight Engineer on the International Space Station for Expedition 53/54, landing back on Earth on February 28, 2018. Prior to arriving at NASA, Acaba taught middle and high school math and science.

Spaceflight Experience:
STS-119 (March 15 to March 28, 2009). This was the 125th shuttle flight, the 36th flight of Discovery and the 28th shuttle flight to the International Space Station. The primary objective of this flight was to deliver the final pair of power-generating solar array wings and truss element to the International Space Station. Acaba accumulated 12 hours and 57 minutes of Extravehicular Activity (EVA) in two spacewalks. STS-119 returned to land at the Kennedy Space Center, having traveled 202 orbits and 5.3 million statute miles in 12 days, 19 hours and 29 minutes.

Expedition 31/32 (May 15 through September 17, 2012). Acaba launched on May 15, 2012, from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. Gennady Padalka and Sergei Revin of the Russian Federal Space Agency and Acaba landed their Soyuz TMA-04M spacecraft in Kazakhstan on September 17, 2012. Acaba spent 123 days aboard the station as a Flight Engineer of the Expedition 31 and 32 crews. Acaba supported the arrival of the first commercial resupply spacecraft, SpaceX’s Dragon, in late May; and was prime robotic arm operator for the capture and release of the third Japanese cargo ship, HTV3. Acaba served as intra-vehicular crew member and robotic arm operator for two U.S.-based spacewalks, helping to restore a critical power unit and exchange a faulty camera on the station’s robotic arm. Acaba also participated in numerous scientific research experiments and performed regular maintenance and operational tasks aboard the orbiting complex.

Expedition 53/54 (September 13 through February 28, 2018). The crew launched from the Baikonur Cosmodrome aboard the Soyuz spacecraft. Acaba, who served as Flight Engineer, was joined by Astronaut Mark Vande Hei and Russian Cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin of Roscosmos. During the mission the crew marked the beginning of the first long-term increase in crew size on the U.S. segment, enabling NASA to double the time dedicated to research and achieve a record-setting week of research that surpassed 100 hours. Highlights from this research include investigations into the manufacturing of fiber optic filaments in microgravity, improving the accuracy of an implantable glucoses biosensor, and measuring the Sun’s energy input to Earth. Acaba completed one spacewalk to lubricate an end effector and install new cameras on the station’s arm and truss.

STEMx sessions at STEMxChange/Tennessee STEM Innovation Summit